Of course I’m spending my evening looking over the election results in New York, as so much hubbub has been made of Donald Trump’s big win there…and as I look over the numbers, a few things stand out to me.
First off, New York is an extremely liberal state – one of the most liberal in the nation. It’s also Donald Trump’s home state. It’s no surprise that Donald Trump, the most liberal candidate, won the day. While I was holding on to hope that he would do better than he did, it’s no surprise that Ted Cruz came in third. But there is still a lot of ground to cover, and a win in New York doesn’t change the fact that Trump’s ground game is very weak, and that unless he reaches 1237, it’s still anyone’s election.
Second, turnout was pretty low. As I write this, Politico shows 98.5% reporting, and the Republican vote total adds up to just barely over 1/3 of active Republican voters (using totals according to the NY State Board of Elections). It’s shameful. I haven’t compared those numbers to other states, but I do know that New York is a closed primary, so the Democrats’ Operation Chaos wouldn’t have an effect there. But if Trump were to drive Republican voters to the polls in large numbers anywhere in the nation, you would think it would happen in his home state, where you would expect the average Republican to be more liberal.
Donald Trump’s big strength is supposed to be voter turnout. Bernie Sanders lost the Democrat primary, yet the Democrats’ loser still got more votes than the top two GOP vote-getters put together. Hillary Clinton got more votes than all 3 GOP candidates combined. And that’s with just under 1/3 of active Democrats voting. The point of which is that, even though Donald Trump won the GOP’s New York primary handily, if he wins the Republican nomination, he will lose his home state by a landslide.
In terms of the primary, it’s a victory. But in terms of the larger picture, it’s a hollow victory for The Donald.